Netherlands: Consumer confidence reaches highest level in over three years
April 18, 2014
The seasonally-adjusted consumer confidence indicator produced by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) increased from minus 7 points in March to minus 5 points in April. Consumer confidence has been on an upward trend since the middle of last year and April's print marked the highest reading since February 2011. Nevertheless, the index is still below the 0-point threshold, which indicates that consumers are pessimistic.
According to the CBS, consumers' more positive assessment of the general economic climate drove this month's improvement, while their willingness to buy remained low. Their assessment of the economic climate during the last 12 months improved considerably over March, while their outlook on the economic climate in the coming 12 months only improved marginally. Consumers' opinions regarding their own financial situations as well as their willingness to buy durable goods remained unchanged at March's level. The continuous improvement in confidence that began last summer paints a positive outlook for private consumption in the near term, although not necessarily for larger ticket items.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption expanding 0.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2015, the panel expects private consumption to rise 0.4%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions